Research Program: Dr. Baumgartner’s research is focused on developing vineyard practices that reduce chemical inputs, while achieving production and quality demands. Her research on Armillaria root disease in California vineyards led to the development of nonchemical control practices that growers use to mitigate yield losses from infected vines. Her basic research on the causal pathogen of Armillaria root disease, Armillaria mellea, has resulted in study tools (e.g., rapid inoculation technique, genetic transformation system) for researchers to examine the infection process in the laboratory and to screen for resistant rootstocks. Dr. Baumgartner’s research on Pierce’s disease shows that the invasive weed periwinkle may contribute to long-term survival of the pathogen, Xylella-fastidiosa, in North Coast vineyards that border riparian woodlands.
Biography: Dr. Baumgartner’s background is in Natural Resources Conservation and Plant Pathology. In 1996, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Forest Biology from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY. From 1996-2000, she trained as a plant pathologist at UC Davis. As a doctoral student at UC Davis, she studied the epidemiology of Armillaria root disease in California forests and vineyards. In 2000, she joined the USDA, ARS in Davis, CA.